Q&A: “I have a question about the definition of bisexuality.”
Hi! I have a question about the definition of bisexuality. I’ve been using a “same + different” -definition and that’s what I’ve seen being used the most. “Two or more” is alright, but if “same gender” is not required, why is it not under heterosexuality? I’m assuming the reason is political, but I want to be sure.
i’m guessing that this ask is related to this post where i say that i personally find defining bi as attraction to “same and different / other gender(s)” to be problematic.
there’s actually nothing “political” about why a person doesn’t have to experience attraction towards people of the “same” or “similar” gender to be bi. that is, unless you consider the feelings and experiences of bi non-binary people to be “political,” which i sincerely hope not.
the reason why i personally, as well as many others, find the “same and different / other” definition of bi to be problematic is because for non-binary people “same gender” and even “similar gender” can be nonsensical. for many non-binary people there are few if any people who have The Same Gender as them. they may not even have a gender at all for that matter because genderless and gender neutral people exist. even the idea of “similar gender(s)” is vague and and thus can feel meaningless. similarly, if there are few if any people who have The Same Gender as you then literally almost everyone’s gender differs from yours and thus fits into the meaningless category of “different gender(s).”
as a bi non-binary person who previously used the “same and different / other gender(s)” definition of bi for myself, i can attest to the Royal Mindfuck that is trying to figure out what even counts as “same”, “similar” or “different” and how eventually such attempts at categorization felt invalidating of both my gender and my sexuality.
similarly, if “same gender” attraction were a requirement for being bi (which, for the record, it’s not) then that literally overlooks and invalidates the many people in the bi community like myself who can’t even make heads or tails of “same” vs “different” gender(s), who don’t feel like such categorization is meaningful, relevant or even possible, etc etc. to say that hetero includes any or all “different” gender attraction is to ignore the fact that even straight people and society at large– the actual people and institution(s) that control what counts as “straight”– doesn’t even acknowledge people like me who are attracted to multiple genders on top of being non-binary. straight people and society at large have never defined “straight” or “hetero” as attraction to “different genderS” but as attraction to “THE OPPOSITE gender” without even a thought to the existence of multiple genders let alone attraction to more than one of them…
to try and redefine “straightness”, heterosexuality or heteroromanticism in order to exclude people like me– or even binary people who are attracted to multiple genders which happens to not include their own– from the bi community or, god forbid, the LGBTQIA community at large in the name of “sga discourse”…
people keep trying to make things like this into a political matter when it’s not. it’s my Actual Life and the life of many others. our lives and identities are not up for political debate or “discourse,” even if others think differently.